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What is Physical Abuse?

Safeguarding African Children in the UK Series

Increasingly Local Authorities across the country are reporting cases of African families coming to the attention Children’s Services mainly due to different child rearing practices which conflict with the laws of the land. Approaches to child rearing, physical discipline and cultural, religious or medicinal practices such as female circumcision and witchcraft branding are seen as putting children at risk of abuse and significant harm. As a result, many African children are being removed from their families and lost to the care system, leading to more African families being broken up and fragmented. Certainly, our research shows that children of African origin are also becoming over represented in the child protection system especially under the categories of “Physical Abuse” and “Neglect”.

AFRUCA has produced the “Safeguarding African Children in the UK” series of publications to highlight different safeguarding issues and to assist members of the African community in the UK to know more about different forms of child abuse and how to identify the signs so children can be safe and be better protected. The “What is Physical Abuse?” booklet is the sixth in the series.